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Assembly approves mascots bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Assembly has passed a bill that would make it harder to force public schools to drop American Indian nicknames.

The Assembly passed the measure 52-41 Tuesday. The Senate was expected to take up the bill Tuesday but GOP leaders later announced they’ll consider the bill next month.

Currently, the state Department of Public Instruction must hold a hearing on a school’s race-based nickname if one person complains about it. The school must prove the nickname doesn’t promote discrimination. DPI then decides whether the name must go.

The bill would require a complainant to collect signatures equal to 10 percent of the school district’s student population to trigger a review and would have to prove discrimination. The Department of Administration, not DPI, would make the final call.

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